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Sun and errors block Goddard from win

Logan Mathison gets ready to bat against Farmington on Saturday in Albuquerque.

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Anyone can make excuses for a loss — and the sun is a part of the game of baseball. Except for the second straight day the sun in right field played a role in the outcome of the game. What does that have to do with Saturday’s championship game between Farmington and Goddard? Everything.

In the 6A game between Piedra Vista and Rio Rancho on Friday, the game was played at 3 p.m. — the sun shined so bright it caused each team to commit three errors on balls hit to right field.

With the championship game being played at 3 p.m. Saturday, the same thing happened to the Goddard Rockets. Goddard gave up four unearned runs because of errors in right field, and bad base running contributed to the Rockets’ losing the game to Farmington, 5-3, at Isotopes Park.

Goddard did not play relaxed and loose like the day before when they thumped Belen. Instead they looked like they were tight and trying not to make mistakes. The whole season when they have lost, it has been because of a lack of concentration or errors. Saturday it looked like they were tight — they were swinging at bad pitches, and a Scorpion player threw behind a baserunner, picking him off.

In the field, not only did they lose balls, mainly in right field, they could not make the simple play. Goddard players were called for interference that allowed an inning to continue for Farmington.

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“Yeah it was basic plays,” Goddard coach Gilbert Alvarado said. “If we make those plays it is 2-1. Hardwick gave us a chance and that’s all we ask for. We drop pop-ups, kick ground balls and throw the ball away and they took advantage of it. They didn’t let us off the hook — we make basic plays and we’re still in this game.”

Drew Price reached base on a walk to start the second inning, and made it to second base when the pitcher overthrew the first baseman on a pickoff play. Ty Villareal came up and laced a base hit to left field to score Price and give the Rockets a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second, Emilio Pardo doubled down the left field line, the next hitter, Isaiah Royce, hit the ball back to Hardwick who took the out at first base, and a the runner advanced to third base. Pardo would score on a wild pitch to tie the game at 1-1.

In the third inning Farmington scored another run because of errors to lead, 2-1. It stayed a close game until the top of the fourth inning when Hardwick drew a walk. Rusty Ross came in to pinch run for him. Farmington coach Sean Trotter made a pitching change, bringing in Isaiah Jaramillo. Jaramillo threw a fastball to Mathison, who singled to left field as Ross raced to third base. Noah Nunez hit the ball to the shortstop allowing Ross to score and tie the game, 2-2.

“I thought we were starting to get going,” Alvarado said. “We had those errors and then things spiraled out of control. God bless Hardwick, he put us in a position to win. We did’t have it, whether it was our own nervousness. We didn’t get it done, we had our shot.”

In the bottom of the fifth the Scorpions scored two runs giving them a 4-2 lead. It appeared that the inning would end with a double play that Goddard had made, but the third base umpired called off the outs motioning to second and third base. Goddard was called for interfering with a baserunner, which allowed the runs to score. In the sixth inning, Farmington scored another run to give them a 5-2 lead going into the seventh inning.

Yet, for all of their nerves and miscues it came down to one last stand. Senior Logan Mathison popped up to the first baseman, who lost the ball in the sun and dropped it, making Mathison safe. Matt Shanor worked a walk from their pitcher putting runners on first and second.

Cameron Stevenson hit a shot deep in the hole, the shortstop ranged to his right near the grass, dove for the ball, and came up with it — but by the time he did all of the runners were safe. Farmington tried the hidden ball trick to try and catch Shanor asleep at second base.

Drew Price came up with the bases loaded and worked the count to 2-2, and was hit by a pitch, scoring a run to make it, 5-3. Farmington coach Sean Trotter had seen enough and went to his closer, Danny Carpenter, who throws the ball sidearm. The next Goddard batter hit the ball hard to shortstop, who threw it to second base for the force out to end Goddard’s title reign.

“I don’t think people realize how hard it is to get to the championship game,” Alvarado said. “You have to have a few things bounce your way, the kids have to be tough and in shape and determined. The fact that these boys expect nothing less than to be here, I’m proud of them.”


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